Like a Sister by Kellye Garrett

Like a Sister by Kellye Garrett

Lena Scott's half-sister, former reality tv star Desiree Pierce, is dead. At first glance, it looks like an accidental overdose, but Lena is not convinced. You have to root for Lena. The book is told from her first-person point of view and she's smart, tenacious, funny, and sassy. The other characters are well-done too, from Desiree's best friend to Mel, the hip-hop producer father. And they each of secrets they're not telling Lena. There's a lot about Desiree's life that Lena doesn't understand and she doesn't know who she can trust. It's a very contemporary mystery. A lot of the clues are on Desiree's phone, contacts, messages, photos, her Instagram account. It had twists and turns and I was nowhere close to guessing the killer. It all made sense in the end though. The story kept me riveted to the page. I was invited into a world that I don't usually visit even in books, with rappers and "influencers" and...
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Putin’s People by Catherine Belton

Putin’s People by Catherine Belton

Putin's People is a clearly well-researched, possibly slightly biased, history of Putin, the KGB, and Russia from the fall of the Soviet Union to a couple of years ago. This was obviously published before the current war, but you can still see it coming. Honestly, the war is why I picked it up. I don't read much history or politics or economics, but then something happens and I wish I had more background to draw on. I am probably not the best audience for this book. There are tons and tons of people, places, companies, very few of which I'm familiar with. It's a dense book and I won't remember many of the details, but it's also well laid out and at times almost reads like a thriller. The Russia of today isn’t much different from the Russia before 1991 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Not only are the viewpoints, world views, and goals for the most part...
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A Deadly Inside Scoop by Abby Collette

A Deadly Inside Scoop by Abby Collette

A Deadly Inside Scoop is the first book in the Ice Cream Parlor mystery series. Bronwyn "Win" has taken over the family ice cream shop, and she is off to a rocky start with the weather and then finding a body in the snow. It starts to look like her father is a suspect. Win and her friend Maisie team up and do some amateur sleuthing to find out who killed Stephen Bayard, a con man who has a past with Win's family. I love the ice cream shop and the flavors Win comes up with. I also like that it's set in my home state. I've never been to Chagrin Falls, but it sounds like a cute town. I liked Win and her family well enough, especially her grandfather. Win has two best friends, Riya and Maisie. Riya has quite a temper and Maisie is a little ditzy and maybe watches too many mystery tv shows. They are both mostly...
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Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke

Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke

Bluebird, Bluebird is not an easy read. It's packed with emotions, thick racial tensions, and family dramas. In Lark, Texas, the racial divisions go back decades, but so do the relationships and the secrets. There have been two recent murders: a black lawyer from Chicago who was found floating in a bayou after being beaten to death, and days later, a twenty-year-old married white woman who worked as a waitress at a roadhouse. Enter Darren Matthews, a black Texas Ranger, whose life is a bit of a mess. His suspension from the Rangers has been lifted, but only temporarily, pending a grand jury investigation for an unrelated, but not unconnected, event. His marriage is on the rocks and he's drinking too much. And of course, there's the independent streaks that so many fictional detectives have. The sheriff is not happy to have him around, does not want the Rangers or the Feds in his county. The characters on both sides of...
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Hot and Sour Suspects by Vivien Chien

Hot and Sour Suspects by Vivien Chien

Hot and Sour Suspects is the 8th in the Noodle House Mystery series and I've read them all. I like Lana. She's funny and sarcastic, a little reckless, and she loves donuts. She is surrounded by quirky friends and a warm, loving family who only nag her occasionally. She manages the family's Ho-Lee Noodle House in the Asian Village shopping center. This time around, after an evening of speed dating at the restaurant, a man is dead in his apartment, and Rina, one of Lana's friends from the mall, is clearly the prime suspect. Megan and Lana decide they need to prove Rina's innocence, even if Rina herself doesn't want them digging around. I love the characters in this series and the setting. It does always make me want to order Chinese takeout though. The mystery in this one was fine. Lana has help from both Megan and Kimmy and they do make a fun, mildly incompetent, team. Lana's detective...
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Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Black Sun is the first book in Between Earth and Sky trilogy, and it is a high fantasy inspired by the civilizations Pre-Columbian Americas. The winter solstice in the holy city of Tova usually means a time for celebration and renewal. But this year a solar eclipse will occur with the winter solstice. The story marches toward that Convergence. I listened to the audiobook and each of the four points of view had their own narrator. We have Xiala, a boat captain who can control both water and people with her Song. We have Serapio, a blind man who Xiala needs to make sure is in Tova before the Convergence. The chemistry between them is fabulous. Naranpa is the Sun Priest, doing her best even though she has more enemies than she understands. Last is Okoa of clan Carrion Crow, who we know the least, but seems the most willing to accept what he doesn't understand. They're all compelling...
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